Sunday, July 7, 2013

Amanda vs Elisalex Dress

Some days I like to imagine my life as if I were someone else. Professional interpretive dancer, ninja assassin, archaeologist. These have all been ways for me to pass the time merrily in a dream land whilst staring slack jawed out the window on public transport. Pardon the drool, fellow travellers, I am pretending to be a flame on stage in my head right now... So imagine my happy surprise when I finished my Elisalex pattern, looked in the mirror and started to see myself as some kind of cool undercover spy on the way to somewhere fancy where I got to sneak off to hack into a  computer but then end up kung fu chopping someone to get away. Oh yeah. That is the sign of a rad dress in Amandaland. So here she be, my take on Elisalex...


BAM! (that was the sound of my kung fu chop)

I bought this pattern an aaaaaage ago when it was first released, however, had not found the perfect fabric for it. But this Japanese cotton? Perfection! Imagine my horror when I finally got it to the counter (after dragging the bolt around the shop for 30 minutes because I was paranoid someone else would find it) and there was only 2 metres left. GAH! This fabric was destined to become an Elisalex, dang it! It would be wrong to turn it into anything else! So I grabbed the two metres of the print, and some black drill, and headed home determined to make it work. After establishing pretty quickly the tulip skirt was out I grabbed my most epic Simplicity 2154 pencil skirt pattern and very carefully placed all the pieces. And even managed to pattern match some of the seams pretty well...


Like. A. Boss.

The bodice went together easily and I have to admit that I am now a mite bit obsessed with princess seams. Such a lovely silhouette and easy to do. Pretty + lazy = happy Amanda. I added an inch of length to the bodice after my muslin so it would end on my natural waistline. I also modified the width of the top of the shoulder. When I made the muslin I found the seam line was sitting past my shoulder bone and looked quite odd so I took this in 8mm on both sides and used a French curve to smooth this out into the existing pattern piece.


This frock was also my first attempt at using my invisible hem foot. Probably not the best choice due to the two tone fabric. But, whatevs. This lady lives on the edge. This turned out pretty well though I must admit I will be handstitching my next version of Elisalex.


Another new skill I tried with this sassy number was to have an exposed zipper. Yup. I'm living in 2010 and I'm loving it! I was the very happy recipient of a gifted Riri zipper by the always hilarious and lovely Charlotte over at Seam Ripped. These zippers are like nothing else. Seriously. It is like a group of unicorns got together with some highly skilled metal smithing kittens and forged a zip of extreme wonder and loveliness. I've been waiting for the perfect project to showcase this loveliness since January and I love the finished effect. Yay for zippers!


And then there was the majesty of the kick pleat. The more I do these the more I love them. All hail kick pleat!


What I loved about this pattern:
  • How well laid out the pattern and booklet is. I'm a lady who likes straight forward and clearly illustrated instructions. And that is what I got. It felt like the BHL team was there with me sewing. Which is nice. Normally it feels like me, a glass of red and some off key singing so the imagined company was a lovely change!
  • The princess seams on the bodice. This is my first time in princess seam land and am loving it. I am totes a princess now with the seams to prove it! bwah ha ha!


What I would change about next time:
  • Take a chunk out of the armsyce at the front. As I wear this I've noticed a bit of roominess there I will take out.
  • Try a pleated skirt. I am seriously crushing on this bodice so hard- I want to make a bunch of these with pleated skirts in some fun prints for work dresses. 
  • Master the exposed zip. It is too sassy not to show off properly!


Overall, I love this dress and it is totally on the make again list! I have so very many plans for additional versions though the urge to make a black Victoria Blazer to go with it is growing. Curse you, By Hand London, and your well designed patterns! 

Now if you will excuse me, it's time to rock out in my lady frock like a boss...

101 comments:

Rachel said...

Best Elisalex I've seen. I love it! That fabric is fantastic. And I want a zipper made by unicorns -we have such crappy options available to us in Oz.

Stephanie said...

Fabulous! I really love it and the black drill on the sides is really flattering and works great. I really want to make another Elisalex - it's a gorgeous pattern.

poppykettle said...

Awesome fabric. Love the v-neck at the back... perfect princess seams (seriously, how fabulous ARE they???!!) and totally Amanda-style. I'm actually dying to try an exposed zipper... are they tricky? Any tips? This seriously looks amazing on you! :)

Jenny said...

It's taken all of my willpower to get this far without buying this pattern but I think your version may have just tipped me over the edge! It's gorgeous! And the kick pleat makes it all that much easier to karate kick in it too :-)

Kirsty Bunfield said...

What a super make - can't believe you got it done with such a small amount of fabric! love the black - an inspired choice - so flattering. That zipper is incredible. I've been living in the zipper wasteland. Clearly!.

Margo Bergman said...

This dress is gorgeous! I agree that this bodice is awesome and a pleated skirt would be great!

Scared Stitchless said...

Love this version of the Elisalex! I've been a princess seam convert for a while because, let's face it, they're just better.
I have to say that there are very few Elisalex's in blogland with the original skirt kept which is the only reason I wouldn't buy this pattern but I'm glad you've got a bunch of variations lined up!

Carolyn said...

Haha, I love reading your posts, they never fail to put a smile on my face! Awesome dress. The print kinda reminds me of arrowheads. Very cool :)

Bec Stitches said...

Love itt.I am mad for this pattern, so addicted ahhh

Roxanne Guillemette said...

Whoa. I am flabbergasted. The crazy graphic print. The print actually MATCHING. The cut. The princess seams. It looks so cool!

lk said...

You are a rockstar! Those matching seams are spectacular.

ana5059 said...

Wow!! What a dress!, congrats

Heather Bee said...

Welcome to princess seam land. We have rainbows, unicorns and cake!!! Ok that's a lie but you don't have to worry about moving dart apexes and whatnot. Very pretty Elisalex, the print is divine. You had to color block due to necessity but it really works well. Rock on with your bad self.

sewinsteady said...

Pretty! I want one. :)

House Of Pinheiro said...

Omg, totally rocking like a boss. Very jealous of your fabric choice

thequirkypeach said...

This looks awesome! Color blocking rocks, and it is especially flattering from the back ;)

Blogless Anna said...

What a rocking dress Amanda. Pattern matching perfection. Gotta get on that princess seams boat myself.

Annette Tirette said...

Amazing! Love that print!

ShanniLoves... said...

Hellz yeah boss lady! This dress is freaking sweet and my fav version I've seen of this pattern. Kick ass!!!

Sew Lonnie said...

Smokin!

SewJillian said...

Boom! A-mazeballs! That is all :)

almondrocksews said...

Duuuude. I'm in awe of this. That print is so super ninja mod I love it. Congrats on a bitching dress!!

Gjeometry said...

Your post was delightful, it made me smile! :) And, I'm just loving your elisalex dress. The fabric combo is inspired and it looks to fit so well. I'm so dying to see somebody sew up the tulip skirt version. Dare ya!

Sew Sleepy said...

wow this dress has it all. I look forward to seeing your Victoria blazer too. ;) It reminds me of cruella d'ville. Maybe a fake fur bolero? too much? Have not met invisible hems now very intrigued.

Leila said...

Amazing dress! Super eyecatching and fits like a dream!! Loooove it.

MaciNic said...

Totally awesome!! Am SO in love with your B&W and I WANT a unicorn and kitten forged zip!! Damn you for pushing the wonders of the BHL patterns into my WANT list again ;)

Tamsinwp said...

What a fantastic dress! Love the fabric and what you've done with the side panels - Rockin'!

Ginger said...

Ooooooh, this is so sassy and AWESOME! Love it love it love it!!!!!

soisewedthis.blogspot.com said...

hot! and I like it better with the black on the sides than if had all been patterned!

tania@sewitanyway.wordpress said...

Great dress! And love the print!

Tina said...

Love. This. Dress.

Also--princess seams are the BOMB! So easy once you get the hang of them too...

Thimble & Cork said...

Dude, this is absolute PERFECTION! I LOVE your fabric and LOVE the black side panels and LOVE the exposed zip and DUDE....I LOVE the skirt you used. (Feelin' the love???) This might be my new favorite version of the Elisalex dress!!!

cationdesigns said...

Aren't princess seams the best? I love that you emphasized that aspect with the black fabric, even if it was because there wasn't enough of that fantastic print. Also, I need to tell shame Walnut into becoming one of those metal-smithing kittens.

Renae said...

This looks amazing on you! So perfect!

Gillian said...

Gorgeous! Love the Japanese print! It's so graphic!

Kat Sultanie said...

Omg that last photo is the best! Love the fabric. The contrast side panels look awesome. I can totally see you kungfuing someone in this dress!!!

zozowahine said...

Holy shizzle this is one hell of a dress!!!! I LOVE the different skirt style you were forced into opting for, I think is shows both the print and bodice amazing-ness off way better than the tulip skirt would have. Damn you got some skillz xxx

jacqcoldwell said...

Well some things are just meant to be - thank goodness there were only 2 yards left on the bolt, you've created a masterpiece :)

sewamysew said...

Major Win!! The pattern and the fabric suit you sooooo much. Totally international spy hacker-chic.

Sabs said...

You look like you move as fast as lightning in that dress!

Sownbrooklyn said...

This is a total WIN!!! I love how the pattern comes together at the back of the skirt!! And feeling like a ninja, archeologist, princess spy (in a bad ass dress!!) is ALWAYS a good time!!

Charlotte said...

Amanda, Sewasaurus Rex, you look fantaaaaastic. You really do.

Amanda Adams said...

Merci, my fair lady! The zipper totes inspired this outfit!

Amanda Adams said...

I think that should be our new requirement for sewing- ninja spy feeling? Yes? Successful dress!

Amanda Adams said...

This dress totally stood up to the test of running at work- epic win!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye, lovely! I could totally be part of the Hackers cast I feel ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Jacq! I can't believe I squeezed it out. Bless you 2 metres!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye! I am so stoked with how it turned out- necessity win!

Amanda Adams said...

I am all about the classy photos, Kat ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Miss G! It was love at first side, print wise :)

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you so much! I couldn't be happier!

Amanda Adams said...

I am now obsessed with princess seams- hand this lady a tiara! And I feel it is time to send both Walnut and Muppet to metal smithing school. Cutest zip making blacksmiths ever.

Amanda Adams said...

*blush* Thank you so much! I love this dress so much!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye! And I have so converted to princess seam-s they are epic!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you so much :D The print is all kinds of fierce!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye! I am loving the happy accident that is the black panels. So glad I was short on fabric!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye, lovely lady! I have made another three Elisalex variations this week. I have a problem... O.o

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you :D I am so happy with the side panels!

Amanda Adams said...

You NEED a magical Riri unicorn and kitten forged zip- you deserve this :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye, Leila! I am so happy with it :D

Amanda Adams said...

Ohh, I need me a faux fur bolero! And invisible hem feet are my ticket to lazy town... GIve in to it!

Amanda Adams said...

Gah! That would be a braver soul than I to make the tulip version! I have done a pleated skirt one though this week- it's rad!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye, my dear! I am so happy with this frock!

Amanda Adams said...

Rockin! Thanks, J :D

Amanda Adams said...

Merci, my dear!

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Shanni! I rocked this to work on my last day and loved it!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you so much :D They had the print in purple too and I had to fight hard to resist it!

Amanda Adams said...

Give in to the princess seams, Anna! Life is sweeter there!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye, lovely lady! I may be a colour block convert now!

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Rach! It was love at first sight with the print :)

Amanda Adams said...

Give in to the Elisalex! You know you want to ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, HB! I am loving the lack of messing around with darts. IT's all kinds of rad!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you so much :) I am so happy with it!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye! So happy with the print match on the front :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Rox! I'm so happy with it!

Amanda Adams said...

The exciting world of Spotlight still has a bunch, Bec. Let me know if you want me to hook you up next time I'm there :)

Amanda Adams said...

:D Thank ye, lovely lady!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you! So glad of my happy accident panels!

Amanda Adams said...

I am up to version four now of this bodice! I may have a problem ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Thank you so much! I have made three versions with the pleated skirt (a week off work) and I am loving them!

Amanda Adams said...

We need to petition A2F to get Riri zippers, I say!

Amanda Adams said...

Give in to the awesome, Jenny! You deserve an Elisalex :) (total pattern enabler here!)

Amanda Adams said...

I can't believe I was hesitant on princess seams before- they are all kinds of rad! I used this tute for the exposed zip: http://www.patternrunway.com/2012/06/how-to-sew-exposed-zipper-with-seam.html

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Steph! Give into more Elisalex- you know you want to ;)

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye, lovely lady! And yes, I think we should demand Riri zippers over here- seriously delicious!

Linda Steaples said...

Beautiful dress it's a WINNER if I might say so myself!!!!!! Well done love it!!!!

Scruffybadgertime said...

OK so as always I am at this party after the carriages have all gone home, but just how awesome your version is hits way above higher than the moon. I love the way you combined the bodice with the pencil skirt - genius. And your pattern matching? To die for. I am now going to check out your even earlier posts on catch up :-)

Rachel Pieters said...

That is an AWESOME dress!

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Linda! I'm so happy with it!

Amanda Adams said...

All the cool kids wait it out! ;) And thank ye- tried super hard to get the pattern matching going so am rather happy with how it all turned out :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Rachel! :D I'm so happy with it!

Kazz said...

Like. a . Boss indeed!! WIN!

Rosy said...

This is the prettiest dress I've seen in a long time! Love everything about it, the geometric print is awesome and I think the dress is best with those side in black fabric. Love, love it!!

http://www.sewingadicta.com/

Amanda Russell said...

This is the best thing you've ever made. I am giving it the ninja bow of respect as we speak, and then I'm promptly adding the Elisalex to my to-buy list! :)

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Kazz! So happy with this frock :D

Amanda Adams said...

Thanks, Rosy! The fabric totally makes it (in my opinion!)

Amanda Adams said...

Nawww, thanks Manda! I am so proud of this frock!

theperfectnose said...

This is one of the best versions of this pattern I've seen. The arrows fabric is very cool.

Neeno - Sew Me Love said...

Damn!! My heart stopped when I was scrolling down your blog and saw this knockout dress! I love it!! The fabric and panels! Ahhh!! I need these By Hand London patterns STAT!

Amanda Adams said...

Thank ye! The fabric screamed elisalex at me- it was destiny ;)

Amanda Adams said...

You would so rock By Hand London patterns, Neeno! This must happen!

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